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he declined preaching, and removed to Bath. His successor was Mr. Youatt, who, in March 1812, was succeeded by Mr. Fox, who removed to London in March 1817.
In the absence of any further authentic information, it may be conjectured that Kingston, where the first congregation is said to have assembled, is the place called also Kingsham; which is a field or two distant from Chichester. That Mr. Predden, whom Mr. Neale would touch with his little finger only, paved the way by his liberal sentiments for the introduction of what some would call greater heresy, which was silently gaining strength under the successive ministra tions of Mr. Watson and Mr. Youatt; so that Mr. Fox was cheered, at an early period of his ministry at Chichester, by the annual meeting, of the Southern Unitarian Book Society being held there on the first of July, 1812. I have only to remark, that Binderton, where the clergymen dropped the pall, is about four miles from Chichester; and that if you think this communication suitable for your valuable monthly work, and I can glean any more particulars connected with the above persons or subject, I will with pleasure transmit them.
Penzance, SIR, May 14, 1823. THERE is a discouraging feeling, acquainted who are in the habit of contemplating public improvements. It is this, that what an obscure individual can effect towards these great objects, is so trifling and insignificant, so insensible and evanescent a quantity, compared with the mighty sum required, that it is not worthy of consideration, and can never afford a sufficient reward for much self-denial or exertion. From such thoughts as these, two bad results are likely to be produced in the mind. In the first place, they tend to enervate virtue; for it cannot be expected that the bestdisposed man will persevere in benevolent exertions, any longer than he sees before him a reasonable prospect of success. Without this, indeed, virtue, becoming separated from wisdom, ceases to be venerable. But, in the second place, such thoughts form an
excuse for wilful and sinful negligence. We can seldom attempt to produce any favourable change in the state of society, without encountering more or less that is unpleasant; painful opposition and misapprehensions, if not ridicule or persecution. And even when these are still absent, there is much unthankful and, to present appearances, fruitless labour. With "whatever ardour, therefore, the young philanthropist may enter on the prosecution of his schemes, however he may have been animated while tasting in forethought the pleasures of benevolence, and the luxury of doing good, a little real experience of the world will convince him that he has taken an erroneous view of the subject. Many, indeed, are the pleasures of virtue, nor are any sweeter than those which spring from deeds of love and compassion; yet I apprehend that the practical philanthropist will find his feelings harmonize not so well with the sentiinental descriptions of the pleasures of virtue, as with the words which encourage us to patient continuance in well-doing, and bid us not to be weary, for that in due season we shall reap, if we faiut not. This, then, being the true state of the case, we are likely enough to entertain very willingly ideas which represent our exertions as unavailing, inasmuch as they seem to excuse us from an irksome duty, and allow us to sink into the apathy and supineness to which,
There are three considerations by which, I think, we should principally endeavour to counteract the injurious influence which we have been considering. In the first place, we may inquire whether we do not underrate the real value of our exertions. It is true, that very few individuals can sensibly influence public events, opinions or manners. He that can do this performs, for an individual, an immense work. Every thing involving the interests of that vast and eversucceeding multitude which constitutes the public, is a matter of great magnitude and importance. In order to estimate aright the value of individual exertions in these things, we may conceive a sort of rough arithmetical operation. The amount of good or evil produced is to be divided fairly among all those who have contributed
to it. The number by which we divide will of course be great, but so will also the dividend; and on this account, the quotient resulting to each individual may be much larger than he would expect. Let us suppose, for instance, that the country is on the eve of a war, and that the actual occurrence of this war or not, is likely to depend on the expression of public opinion. If the war should really take place, it is probable a hundred thousand human lives may be wilfully and violently destroyed, that is, a hundred thousand murders may be committed; for this is the crime for which the aggressing party has to answer, in relation to every man that falls in battle, or by any other unnatural death. A hundred thousand murders may, therefore, become chargeable on the country, if a war be unjustifiably undertaken. And among how many individuals is this awful amount of guilt to be divided? We have not here to consider the whole population, because the great majority, from various causes, exercise absolutely no voice nor influence in the matter. When we select from the mass that number only who take an active interest in political subjects, though without any official character, how many hundred thousands of such there may be, I will not pretend to say, but I think it is plain, that a very awful share in the causing of a murder may be assignable to each. The same kind of reasoning will apply with equal force to all other instances of public good and evil, whether in religion, politics or manners, and may convince us, that we have more in our power than we might at first suppose.
In the second place, we are to consider not merely the effects of an individual action, but of the principle which we admit, and, therefore, sanction. The part which a single man' can contribute to the common weal, must indeed be small; but the principle that each man is bound to do his part, if admitted and observed, will secure all that can be desired. The effects of general principles are something very different from those of individual actions; such principles are rules deduced from the general and average tendency of actions, and, therefore, they will not fail to produce their intended effect, in the long run.
To discern the general tendencies of actions is not difficult, but to calculate what may be expedient in a particular case, considered alone, is commonly beyond human sagacity. It is safer, then, for man to adopt rules of conduct which he is assured will answer on the whole, than to trust to his judgment in particular cases. Moreover, it is to the adoption of general principles, that we owe the confidence and mutual understanding which are the foundations of society. The same is the foundation of morality, and its important connexion with the present subject we have already noticed.
Lastly, whether our influence on public affairs be great or small, we are still bound to use it faithfully, because it is our proper personal duty so to do. If it is right that a certain thing should be done, we cannot be absolved from performing our part in it, because numbers must co-operate before it can be accomplished. We liave to answer for our own part, and neither more nor less. But if we neglect this part, it cannot be said that we shall only share the guilt, nor if we perform this part shall we only share the merit. The whole guilt or merit of the whole transaction attaches to every agent. If a thousand join in a murder, each is guilty of the entire crime; and with this remark, which seems to suggest very important reflections, I will conclude.
T. F. B.
Bath, SIR, May 30, 1823. VOUR valuable Miscellany frequently contains very interesting communications concerning the state and progress of Unitarianism, a cause to which I sincerely wish success, believing it to be that of truth; but the more earnestly I wish it to prevail, the more I am concerned to observe the manner which some of its advocates have adopted in their zeal for its diffusion. Zeal is good or bad in its consequences according as it is employed by wisdom and knowledge, or stirred up by injudicious, though wellmeaning persons, who mistake the excitement which may be occasioned by many external circumstances for that real, permanent conviction, which can proceed only from sober thought and seriously repeated examination.
This process may not rapidly increase the number of converts, but if slow and quiet in its operation, it is progressive, it is not that which appeareth
Considered with reference to their object, they seem in Scripture to be divided into four classes, which have the following names in the Old Testament,
in עולות שלמים חטאות ואשם for a little while and then vanishes
away. Well-directed zeal will not complain of finding nothing to do if in this way its efforts are employed in promoting Christian truth: it would, indeed, check much ebullition, it would entirely check all vaunting expressions, all contemptuous epithets, all invidious comparisons with others whose creed is different, all which is inconsistent with Christian charity and gentlemanly courtesy. It is true, Unitarians do not say, "stand off, we are holier than thou;" but even the civility of saying, "Come to us, we are wiser than thou," may be construed as savouring of intellectual pride, and dispose some to decline accepting the invitation.
I have no objection to doctrinal discussion, or to doctrinal discourses from the pulpit, when not so frequent as to endanger the engrossing the attention, or at least ahating it to the practical duties of the Christian life. The discipline of the heart, the regulation of the conduct, "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts," is harder work than the acquirement of speculative knowledge; and the relish excited by the latter may produce a disrelish for "dry morality."
It has been said that the Unitarian's is a scanty creed: happily, no charge can be brought against it as leading its professors to satisfy themselves with a scanty morality.
A CONSTANT READER.
An Essay on the Nature and Design of Sacrifices under the Mosaic Law, and the Influence which Jewish Ideas and Language concerning them had upon the Language of the New Testament. By the late Rev. Henry Turner.
(Continued from p. 275.) Design of the Mosaic Sacrifices. [T now follows that we determine,
Latin, "Holocaustum, sacrificia salutaria, sacrificium pro peccato, et sacrificium pro noxâ," in English, the burnt-offering, the peace-offering, sinoffering, and trespass or guilt-offerings.
saic records, and in general from the writings of the Old Testament, what may be conceived to have been the design and object of sacrifices under the law of Moses.
Now from merely inspecting this classification of Jewish sacrifices, we are naturally led to conclude, that as sacrifices belonging to the two latter classes were specially provided for the expiation of sin, the rest were appointed for other purposes; and, in particular, that sacrifices of the class of peace-offerings, with its subdivisions, (called [Lev. vii.] in a 778, namely, the vow, the voluntary offering and the thanksgiving,) were in no degree intended for expiatory sacrifices.*
Now, if the sacrifice itself had no expiatory import, no part of the ceremonial which attended the sacrifice could have such import; but, the imposition of hands on the head of the victim, and the shedding and sprinkling of its blood, were constituent parts of the ceremonial of peace-offerings; hence it seems reasonable to infer, that these ceremonies cannot in themselves be considered as proofs of an expiatory or vicarious import, in any connexion in which they occur. We mean, that supposing they might admit of such import, in cases where there was other evidence for its existence, they cannot, in defect of such evidence, be adduced as in themselves proving a vicarious import.
And here it may be well to remark is to be met with, upon this very a notable instance of sophistry which point, in the work of a modern chamPpion, for what are called orthodox views of sacrifice and atonement, whose fortune it has hitherto been to have many admirers and few opponents.
"In order to prove," (says Dr.
This class includes so large a portion of the Jewish sacrifices, that it has appropriated to itself the most general terin that is used in relation to animal sacrifices, viz. 1. Outram, lib. i. c. x. § 1.
Magee, Discourses, &c.,) "that the ceremony of the imposition of hands, was not attended with the acknowledgment of sin in sacrifices not piacular, it is necessary to shew that in none but piacular was there any reference whatever to sin. In these, indeed, the pardon of sin is the appropriate object; but that in our expressions of praise and thanksgiving, acknowledgment should be made of our own unworthiness, and of the general desert of sin, seems not unreasonable. That even the eucharistic sacrifices (the peace-offerings) then might bear some relation to sin, especially if animal sacrifice, in its first institution, was designed to represent that death which had been brought in by sin, will, perhaps, not be deemed improbable. And in confirmation of this it is certain that the Jewish Doctors combine, in all cases, confession of sins with imposition of hands." The reference here is to Dr. Outram, De Sacr. lib. i. c. xv. § 8.
He next states that Maimonides concurs in this opinion, so far at least as appears from the following passage: Ambas quisque manus suas inter bina victimæ cornua ponit, et peccatum confitetur juxta victimam pro peccato noxamque juxta victimam pro noxâ cæsam, ac juxta holocaustum confitetur ea, quæ contra leges jubentes facta sunt, vel quidem contra leges vetantes, quibus jubentes implicantur." "Juxta vietimas salutares, ut mihi videtur, non confitetur [peccata sua] sed Dei laudes commemorat." Thus Maimonides gives it as his opinion that, with respect to peace-offerings, no confessions of sins, but praises of God, were uttered at the ceremony of the imposition of hands. Thus it appears far from obvious, from this passage of Dr. Outram, that the Jewish Doctors combine in all cases confessions of sins with imposition of hands: for the words themselves are ambiguous; and Maimonides advances a directly different opinion.
Dr. Magee proceeds (in the place before cited) to argue in the following manner: "But be this as it may, it is at all events clear that if the ceremony be admitted to have had in each kind of sacrifice the signification suited to its peculiar nature and intention, it necessarily follows, that when used in piacular sacrifices it implies a reference to and acknowledgment of sin." Or, as he explains himself a few sentences after, that this ceremony was intended symbolically to transfer the sins of the offerer on the head of the victim."
Why, if there were piacular sacri
Now, what Dr. Outram states is this. It appears that the imposition of hands was in all cases a method of prayer for good, or imprecation of evil, or both. Hence it arises that solemn prayers are currently designated by the single word xperia ("the laying on of hands,") where no mention is made of any prayers in express words. (Deut. xxxiv. 9; 1 Tim. v. 22.) So that the same law which prescribes imposition of hands on the head of the victim, may be judged to have tacitly prescribed that the presenting of prayers should be part of the sacrifice. Hence the saying of Aaron Ben Chajim,
סמיכה אין ודוי שאין fices in which the sins of the offerer במקום להתורות היא
"Ubi non est [peccatorum] confes sio, ibi non est impositio manuum, quia manuum impositio ad confessionem pertinet." Where there is no confession there is no imposition of hands, because the imposition of hands appertains to confession.
Dr. Outram here inserts " peccato. rum; but it does not appear that the word 171, requires this insertion, as from the Lexicons, and various passages of Scripture, it is evident that the word is often used for confessions or ascriptions of praise.
were symbolically transferred to the victim, then this ceremony might express such transfer, but this is the very thing to be proved; and the question is, not having other proof of the vicarious import of sacrifices, does the use of this ceremony afford such proof? We say, clearly not, for it is introduced into the ceremonial of the eucharistic sacrifices, which had no reference to sin, and could not, therefore, receive such reference from this ceremony; the imposition of hands, therefore, on the head of the victim was not calculated to confer a vicarious import on sacrifices; and in
defect of other proof, itself furnishes none of the existence of any such import.
were emblematical of the bearing away of sin.
But since in peace-offerings, there is no evidence of there being a similar confession of sins, over the head of the victim, and the animal was not sent away into the wilderness, but sacrificed upon the altar, the ceremony of the scape-goat can prove nothing with respect to the vicarious import of sacrifices; and it is not more reasonable to argue for it from this instance, than it would be to argue that the laying on of hands bestows a vicarious import upon the punishment of the blasphemer; or that the patriarch Jacob did, in a vicarious sense, lay his hands upon the heads of Ephraim and Manasseh.
Dr. Magee takes for granted the thing to be proved. It is obvious that this ceremony of the laying on of hands was used on occasions of various and widely different import. "Thus in the case of the blasphemer, those who had borne witness against him, laid their hands upon his head, (Lev. xxiv. 14,) and were wont (as Maimonides informs us) to devote him to death, in these words, &c.
Sanguis tuus in caput tuum recidat, tuo enim merito periisti.' On the contrary, the patriarch Jacob, laying his hands on the heads of Ephraim and Manasseh, at the same time commended them in his prayers to God. And Moses, by the same ceremony, committing the government to Joshua, would doubtless pray for the increase of divine graces, that he might be competent to so great an office. Again, the high-priest, in a religious ceremony, laying hands even upon a brute animal void of reason, viz. the goat that was to be led into the desert, at the same time confessed upon his head the sins of the people!" Now the only rational method of determining the signification which this ceremony must necessarily have in all cases, (for this is the least question,) is to fix upon something common to all the instances in which it is found
Proceeding according to this obvious maxim, it appears that the laying on of hands was always accompanied by a solemn address to the Supreme Being, and that it was a method of designating such things as were either devoted to death or commended to divine favour, or, in short, designated to any important office or sacred use.
To apply this to the case of the scape-goat. It is expressly said, that the high-priest laying both his hands on the head of the goat, was to confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, putting their sins upon its head. The laying on of hands was merely to designate the object of the ceremony, and to express a solemn religious address; it was the verbal confession of prayers, and the giving away the goat in charge to be carried away into the wilderness, that
It admits of question whether this Jewish rite of the scape-goat, (which was no sacrifice since it was sent away alive into the wilderness,) does in any degree favour the doctrine of the vicarious import of sin. For the animal' is not treated as if there was any guilt (symbolically) inhering in it; it is merely a mechanical, unconscious instrument in the business of bearing away sin; and one cannot well regard the ceremony in any other light than as a palpable way of representing to a rude people of gross understanding, an assurance of the forgiveness and removal of sin.
How this pardon was granted remains as much as ever a question to be determined by other evidence.
But the ceremony of the scape-goat is applied in another way to prove the vicarious import of several of the Jewish sacrifices. That the argument may have full justice done to it, we will state it in the words of Dr. Outram. (De Sacr. lib. i. cap. xxi. § 3.) He premises "that the sacred writers are wont to speak of unexpiated crimes, as of a foul stain polluting the guilty. And so it arises that the expiation of sins is often expressed by words equivalent to cleansing. Such as in Greek, καθαρισμος and καθαρίζειν, and in Hebrew, and, words which the Greek interpreters sometimes translate by kalapiei. Next, let it be considered that on the appointed day of expiation the sins of the people of Israel were transferred in a symbolical manner to the goat, which was to be led into the wilderness.